So: for various reasons, I am now considering pulling the rip cord; activating the ejector seat; pressing the big, red button marked "DO NOT PRESS".

In other words: having the big conversation where I explain that I am finally out, it is not fixable, and it is all over.

I expect it to be rough. Sort of like the experience that trawler crew had in The Perfect Storm, but not as much fun.

Question for those who have experienced it: how was it for you? What can I expect? What should I be mentally prepared for?
endofthetether endofthetether
46-50, M
10 Responses Aug 17, 2014

If you are serious about this, it will not be "a conversation". You will explain to her your position and then follow through with the game plan for separation.
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There will likely be bargaining. A pledge to take it seriously. It will be compelling. So, know that, and be realistic about your thresholds - what you will accept and what you won't. Be honest with yourself now, about whether you secretly want her to convince you to stick, or whether you are done done.
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In my case, I knew going in that a half-*** "I don't know if I want to be married to you or to anyone" was below my minimum threshold to be married. If it helps, try to imagine the scenario of the "divorced lady who moves in next door." If this person (your wife), moved in next door and you were just getting to know her, would you date her? How much would you put up with before you cut and run, realizing her disinterest?
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Lay the groundwork first. Set up your activities, old friends, and everything you threw off the bus as you started focusing on her. Have a short term plan set to move out if you can afford it (or her - that could be a conversation if you like) - because once this conversation happens, it's like living in the house with a corpse. It's a disturbing feeling to share the house in a dead relationship in which there is no hope nor attempt at resuscitation.

PS. Bargaining positions, likely:
--"Sex at will" (gotcha will be using bad sex to make you hate it too, or to treat you like a rapist)
--"Go to therapy" (gotcha will be not committing to a goal, using therapy to justify her non-interest to herself)
--"Open relationship" (gotcha will be conducting the open relationship in such a way as to maximize your emotional harm, or to justify affairs on her side which are not transparent at all).

Beware of hidden attacks - affairs. Seriously.

Thank you - this is very on point.

Whatever you do, DON'T BULLSHIT.
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If you have not yet got your legal advice and a do-able exit plan in your pocket, then do NOT have this conversation until such time as you do have them.
All you'll achieve is to shred your cred.
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Tread your own path.

Thanks. I have not got the exit plan fully in place - you are right, I should do this first

Be prepared for disbelief, perhaps an absolute temper tantrum once the reality kicks in followed by posssibly attempts of reset sex being thrown at you in plentyfull in the shorterm.

Either way no matter what happens when finally confronting and dealing with these issues they are neither easy or pleasant. But definately must be addressed.

Stay Strong & Good Luck

Make it a clean break... Assume all responsibility for ending it, because you are. And get a damn good attorney... You will be hated and shunned. Rumors in you circle of friends will paint you as the bad guy. Suck it up... Get through it as fast as possible and move on....

Sounds about right, AGG. I would add: try to stick to the high road, and if you have children, you MUST both "be there" for them like never before...

Thank you. This is very good advice - much appreciated.

Do not expect your experiences to be like anyone else's. Keep an open mind about what to expect. I divorced last year. I was never hated and shunned. My close friends knew that for years, I had been unhappy in a sexless marriage, but had been faithful because I assumed that my refuser's behavior was due to some kind of mental or physical illness.
When I told my refuser I was divorcing him, that's when he revealed he had been having an affair and thought he'd fathered an out of wedlock child.

Even my adult children were supportive to me as were some of my refuser's relatives.

I did not lose any friends. I felt good about how soon I'd be able able to live the kind of life I wanted.

For economic reasons, my refuser and I shared a house until a month before the divorce was final. It was a better situation than sharing a house with him when I still thought there was hope for our marriage. At least since we knew we were getting divorced, there was no obvious reason for my refuser to be avoiding talking to me. That wasn't the case before when his ignoring me cut me to the core.

Thanks for sharing meta..

1 More Response

Threats... be prepared for them. Especially if you have kids. I am still in my marriage because of threats.

Luckily, kids now gone, as of last summer. It was not feasible for me to leave before then. I then also hoped that once we were more alone, things would finally pick up. I've given it a fair shot, I believe.

The hardest part for me, because it was so unexpected, was losing all of my friends in the process. Because we'd been married 19 years, my friends were "our" friends. Couples that we knew together and hung out with. When my ex found out that I was planning on leaving, he tried to coerce me into staying by enlisting the help of my friends. That didn't work. So when I finally said goodbye to the marriage, I also said goodbye to the friends I had made. Or rather, they said goodbye to me.

Same situation here, Helianthus...we were married 20 years. What I did was seek out the friends I had BEFORE I knew him, that got pushed out of my life by HIS friends (and to be fair, the ones we made together...although some of those remain MY friends). It is vital to be reminded of what folks liked about you, before you succumbed to the disaster and stress of SM. Be strong... :)

In this respect I'm lucky as we have no joint friends! He has no friends. All my friends are my friends. Couples/parents of my son's friends have tried to be friendly with him, but it's fallen on stony ground.

This is good advice, thank you. I am very, very lucky to have some old, solid friends. I have already had some discussions with them. I believe that they will be there for me.

Get ready for the most difficult conversation you've ever had, Endofthetether. Having been through this a couple of months ago, my advice would be the following:

1. Prepare a short script of EXACTLY what you plan to say. Keep it short and to the point, and don't deviate from the script or you'll never say what you meant to. Stick with facts, and avoid blame or negative emotions.

2. Initially, your wife will be shocked, and most likely angry as well. She may say terrribly mean things to you or simply cry - that depends on her. I found it best to say what I needed to say to my STBX and then quickly left - I gave him 24 hours alone to process the information before we had to see one another again.

3. You then need to begin taking action on your exit plan. DO NOT HAVE THIS CONVERSATION UNTIL YOUR EXIT PLAN IS IN PLACE. This means you've consulted with a lawyer, know if you'll be offically moving to another bedroom in your house or moving out, etc. Your wife will be in denial that this is actually happening, and your actions need to make it clear that it's a reality.

4. You need to have your support system in place - a therapist, group of friends yoiu can count on and talk with, whatever.

5. Expect a lot of pleading by your wife ("How could you do this to me?") and emotional warfare. It's rough.

6. Decide when and how you'll tell your kids. Ideally, the two of you have this conversation together with them.

Good luck, and be ready for the unexpected!

"Keep it short"
> this, to the point that the "various reasons" and that you are at the end of your tether should already be well known to your spouse, and you only need a minute to reconfirm your state
"emotional warfare"
> to which I will add, it's all out emotional warfare

Thanks. That is all very good advice. Pretty much ready to press that button I think

In my case, the surprise was mine because my refuser then revealed he had been cheating and shortly after, he revealed he thought he had fathered his mistress's child. So, be prepared for anything. Your being in individual therapy can be a help for however she responds.

That moment of finally saying it was possibly the worst in the whole process for me. My advice... walk yourself through what you'll say. Keep it brief. Try not to get pulled into a long, convoluted rehashing of EVERYTHING. Be direct and brief. Then step aside to let your spouse process. There will be plenty of time later for "explaining," if it's necessary.

My ex was mostly in shock when I told him. He went through a variety of emotions but mostly disbelief mixed with anger. All in all, it wasn't as bad as I'd thought it might be.

Do see a lawyer first and be as prepared as possible on that end. I had papers drawn up and ready to go before I told mine. If you think she'd attack the bank accounts, prepare for that in consult with your attorney.

Thank you. Fortunately I am a lawyer, and I also plan to be totally fair, if not generous. I shared a lot of years with her, and we had two children. I am going to do this right.

I imagine that does make things easier. I know many of us have dealt with spouses trying to empty accts. Passive aggressives will do their thing.


With mine, I pulled out half the day after I told him. Set up with him how we'd handle bills in the interim.

Talk to a lawyer before having the conversation.